Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Game of the Hours

December's game in the What Will Be almanac was the Game of the Hours:

The immediate purpose of this game is to provide evidence, drawn from living experiences, of the existence of a 'surrealist poetic time'. There is here a necessary prior consideration: to discover to what extent there is in each of us, and how intensely, an experience of time that overlaps with 'forced time' in all its possible manifestations. Testimony, modest but decisive, of an experience of 'emancipated time'. Naturally, what comes out of the answers will be a mystery that can transform the obviousness of the game into something new. Although this remains to be seen.

1. A clock face is found from which the hands are removed.
2. Each player designates a time associated with an event from his/her life that upholds the principle of the marvellous: revelation, passion, liberation, emancipation, encounter.
3. Each player selects a sentence that acts as an emblem of this lived experience and, upon the clock face chosen for the game, writes it against the corresponding time.

Our results, anti-clockwise from XII:

Lost in Stockholm by night among the hares and snow.
I may have been born at this time.
My neighbour sleepwalking around the garden at night.
Love at first sight during The Revenger's Tragedy.
1965 Quex Road.
Here comes the fox.
I dreamt a fortune teller, with two left hands, read my Tarot.
A symbol of a robot child is printed.
My eye operation.
A sparrow is un-shrouded, reborn through tissue and punctured plastic and flies away.
I first saw Wizard of Oz.
A fox placed its paw in my hand.
I touched a mushroom which then vanished at my nursery school.
Stockholm summer sunrise, wide awake in a room full of dreams
Men in skeleton suits, running through a graveyard.
I am awake and I am asleep.
I may have been born at this time.

Summary of our discussion of the results:

For us there was no getting away from the disjuncture between the clockface itself, which is the very embodiment of forced time – a "static universe", in Patrick's words – and the defiantly clockless time of poetry. Does anyone ever check their watch during an experience of the Marvellous? For the most part the positions we assigned on the clockface to the experiences we recalled were based on rough estimates and guesswork; the clock times were more or less arbitrary and extrinsic to the experiences. Even those temporal aspects that really did apply to some poetic experiences – most notably, whether the experience had occurred at nighttime or daytime – are not indicated on a clockface. We therefore found it very fitting that the clock's numerals were gradually becoming covered over by the poetic experiences as the game continued. The Marvellous obliterates the clock.

Kirsty, Merl, Patrick, Paul C

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